Oisin Murphy had a fantastic day on Friday with Alcohol Free and Quickthorn winning and he was confident about both - don't miss his thoughts on his Saturday rides.
MASEKELA is drawn one in the Chesham Stakes and I’d prefer to be drawn a little closer to the likely pace, which is Mark Johnston’s two who are drawn eight and nine. I’m not too far away from New Science, though, who was very impressive at Yarmouth when he made all. Aidan O’Brien’s Point Lonsdale is clearly fancied and could be very good, but I sat on Masekela on Wednesday morning and I was thrilled with him. He’s improved from his Goodwood win and I’m really excited about getting on him.
I had a spin on TACTICAL on Wednesday morning too and he’s in good shape ahead of the Jersey Stakes. We’re drawn in two but Creative Force is a good horse nearby in stall four and he was ridden prominently last time at Newbury. Bellosa’s a likely frontrunner as well and she’s very fast, I’d say she could even come back to six in time, and she’ll probably lead up. The trip and the ground could help us reverse the form with Creative Force and this looks the right race for my horse.
I can’t believe the Hardwicke has attracted such a big field, it’s a very competitive renewal with 15 going to post and Japan being a double-figure price tells you how deep a contest this is. HIGHEST GROUND is a nice ride to pick up and he improved for his reappearance when winning at Leicester 12 days ago. I should’ve won the Dante on him last year. Broome is in good form, Hukum is improving, Ilarab has come through the grades, it’s going to be tactical. Albaflora could go well at a track she likes now the rain has come. A big field, lots of horses getting in the way of each other, hopefully Highest Ground can come out on top for Sir Michael Stoute who has a great record in the race.
I can’t wait for STARMAN in the Diamond Jubilee, we’re delighted with him. We’re drawn 13 and it will be interesting to see how they ride Nahaarr who we beat at York last time. Starman jumps and is very fast but I don’t know whether I’ll end up sitting in front of him, beside him or behind him, I don’t think it matters too much. Art Power and Glen Shiel will lead up in the centre, both natural leaders, Final Song will track them, Emaraaty Ana will be sat on the wing, it looks a pretty straightforward race when it comes to how it should all pan out. We’ve been thrilled with Starman but the rain is a real worry for him.
The ground was too slow for ABOVE at Epsom and he doesn’t stay seven either, so you can put a line through his last run. This has been the plan for six months and he’s come out of Epsom well so we’ll see, he’s obviously a big price. Rohaan is a three-year-old and it’s tough for them against older sprinters, Chil Chil has a great chance if she can get into things from her high draw. I’ll just follow the pace and see how we go. The favourite will be Andrew Balding’s King’s Lynn who I know well having rode him into seventh in the King’s Stand. This is a different type of race, he didn’t have a hard race the other day but they went flat out and had nowhere to go late on. Is six on a stiff track ideal? Probably not. Is he the best horse in the race? There is no doubt.
I’m just a bit worried about the field size for FOXES TALES in the Golden Gates Handicap. I think he’s well handicapped, he just got a bit lost at Chester but he will have learnt plenty. He’s a huge price at 12/1 and he can go well, he just needs some luck from the draw. I’ll aim to go forward but I don’t want to be stuck out wide and every fellow in the race might have the same idea, and there will be a few unexposed ones, but if Foxes Tales isn’t better than his handicap mark I’ll be disappointed.
GLOBAL HEAT goes in the closing Queen Alexandra Stakes and he has to prove he stays. Falcon Eight was very impressive at Chester, Stratum will definitely stay and the first two in the market look to set a very high standard. My fellow ran well out in Meydan but that was over 1m6f so we’ll have to find out if he stays this far on Saturday.
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